Sunscreen labelling needs to change

jaynelawrenceBy Prof Jayne Lawrence, RPS Chief Scientist

The recent RPS survey of 2000 adults in Great Britain showed just how little understood sunscreens are.

Only 8% of people knew that the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) on bottles of sunscreen provides protection from UVB light alone and does not include protection from harmful UVA rays – typically indicated by a separate ‘star’ rating. Both UVA and UVB light are harmful to skin and can cause skin cancer. Read more Sunscreen labelling needs to change

Vitamin D deficiency in babies in UK

By Oliver Gillie BSc PhD FRSA, Health Research Forum

Breast milk would be perfect for babies if we lived like our distant ancestors in central Africa where the sun shines brightly almost everyday and we wore only light clothing or perhaps nothing at all. As it is breast milk of women in Britain and most of Europe contains very little vitamin D and not enough to keep babies in optimum health.

The sun is not strong enough in northern Europe to make any vitamin D for half the year and our cloudy climate means that even in summer we often get little vitamin D from one week to the next. So some 80% of the population have sub-optimal vitamin D levels of the sunshine vitamin in winter and even in summer some 50% are sub-optimal. Read more Vitamin D deficiency in babies in UK